Short Story Sunday: The Hunter

The Hunter

A short story from Juliette Kings

“We pumped quite a bit of blood out of your stomach. We’re not sure where it came from.”

She heard the words but was the noise in her head was still loud…

“Your heart had stopped beating. You weren’t breathing. You were cold.”

A hospital bed. She was in a bed hooked up to equipment. Her throat hurt.

“We still can’t get your body temperature up to normal and your heart beat is extremely slow.”

She’d been found in a room of an abandoned house wearing nothing but a black silk cocktail dress and black high heeled sandals. The nails on her hands and feet were painted silver. Aside from that there was no jewelry, no purse, no identification. The man she’d been with had received minor injuries and would be in soon to see her. He said he was her boyfriend. Panic started to set in but she didn’t show it.

“Do you remember anything?”

“Not a lot.” She lied. She had remembered almost everything, despite the headache. The man called Austin had wanted to show her a house he was remodeling. He specialized in renovating Victorians and older historic homes. It was charming. It was haunted. “Is Austin alright?”

“He had a few stitches in his forehead, but yes, he is doing fine.”

“We left the club where we met. I mean, it wasn’t a hook up, we’d been seeing each other for a while. We’re friends. He told me about his work restoring old homes. I own some property I was thinking of having restored…He took me to a house he owns. It’s old, nobody lives there. A Queen Ann style Victorian. Beautiful. He showed me around and we ended up in an upstairs room.” She didn’t tell him of the phantoms and the screams that nearly burst her ear drums. She paused, and glanced at the needle in her arm. “Alright, we did fool around some. But we both started to feel really sick. He passed out first. I tried to wake him. I think we were drugged at the bar. Is he ok?”

“I’m fine sweetheart.” In the door stood a man with a bandage on his forehead. His brown eyes met her blue with almost a spark of both passion and hate. He smiled at the doctor.

“She’s a vampire and I’m a vampire hunter. I had no idea the house was haunted when I took her there. Sorry, it’s along running joke between us. Isn’t it Elizabeth?”

Her eyes met his again. A hunter hunting the huntress. “Is that all I am to you?”

He sat next on the edge of the bed and took her cold hand. “You need to warm up dear or they’ll never let you out of here. I know, it takes a lot of effort to keep your heart beating for those machines. You don’t want them thinking you’re dead.”

To think she was starting to fall in love with this man.

“I thought you were going to kill me last night but you saved my life. Why’d you do that Elizabeth?

Doctor Davis spoke up. “What is going on here?”

Austin smiled and spoke in a quiet calming voice. “I’m sorry for the confusion. We have our own language. We had a fight. She wasn’t going to kill me. Just an expression. She was angry. You know, I’m a typical guy. I did typical stupid guy stuff. We went to the house and like she said, we were both feeling sick. Then someone came in and mugged us. She saved me. I don’t know how, but she defended me. It was too dark to tell what was going on. We had a tumultuous relationship but we’re not violent, just a little dramatic.”

“He’d never touch me.” Elizabeth looked back at Austin. “The ones who attacked us… I had no idea. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

“I thought you’d know.”

“I don’t.”

“Huh. Interesting.”

They both talked to the police about what had happened. Their story was the same. They’d gone to a house he owned, it was unoccupied, they were attacked. They both had traces of an airborne toxin in their systems.

Elizabeth was released into Austin’s care. She’d told him she’d call a taxi but he insisted on bringing her home.

On the way he talked. She sat still, feeling sick, trying to regain her energy. The morning sun burned her eyes even through the fog.

“So my building, the house we were in last night is haunted. Those were ghosts.”

Elizabeth glanced over at him, then looked away. “Yes, they were ghosts. I know someone who can get rid of them for you. He’s good and his prices are reasonable.”

“You know Elizabeth, I’ve found at least a dozen of your kind, vampires, in the basements of abandoned old buildings I’ve purchased for restoration. They weren’t like you. They were like rats.”

“I’m not like them. I don’t live in the shadows or in a crypt. I don’t sleep in a coffin. Most of us aren’t like your rats. We live normal lives.”

“When were you born?”

“1834. I’ve been a vampire since 1853. How did you know?”

He gave her a mean smile. “Call it a 6th sense. My grandfather hunted vampires. It’s in my blood, no pun intended.”

They arrived at her house. He was impressed. A beautiful craftsman style, maybe 2,500 square feet, nice old neighborhood. Inside the woodwork was beautiful. Her decorating was a combination of period and modern. Nice.

“You can go,” she told him.

“Show me around. This place is great.”

“I’m the original owner. 1905.”

As she showed him around Austin noticed a diploma in her office. “You didn’t tell me you were an attorney. Go figure.”

“I told you I consulted for the Justice Department. There is no shame in what I do.”

The house was impressive as was the vampire who lived in it. “Was that my blood they pumped out of your stomach?”

“Most of it. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a Vampire. I just took maybe a pint.”

Austin noticed a mirror on the wall. He took Elizabeth by the shoulders and turned her around to face it. He could see his own reflection but hers was just a dim shadow.

“Look at my eyes, in the mirror. Look at my eyes,” she told him.

Their eyes locked in the glass. Her image became clear. He laughed. It wasn’t the sarcastic bitter laugh she’d heard all morning. This was joy.

“Elizabeth, will you be alright if I leave you?”

“You aren’t going to kill me?”

“Not today.”

“Then when? When will you be back to cut out my heart and cut off my head.”

“Do you want to go out sometime on a real date?”

“You’re scaring me Austin.”

“I know. I’ll pick you up tomorrow around 8:00. It should be dark by then. Wear something nice.”

She watched through the window as he drove away. Her heart had stopped beating. She wasn’t breathing. In the refrigerator was a bottle of blood. She was starving. Her head was light but that was because of him.

Austin drove away with a smile on his face. What a rush. He wasn’t sure what tomorrow would bring. Either he’d kill her or he’d marry her. That is, if she didn’t kill him first.

 

~ END

 

Tangled Tales

First published in 2014. This is the first story in the Austin and Elizabeth series.

Click here for the entire series (so far.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: No Weapon At All

Locking in on the eyes of the Vampire Hunter she decided for a different strategy. Rather than sending them images of horror, pain, and endless nightmares, tonight would be different.

She slowly backed up and reached into the box behind her. Pulling out the contents, she could see a reaction from her would-be captors. At first it was shock, then delight, the resignation that they could not possibly hurt her.

There were four of them, all experienced Vampire Hunters. That night she’d been alone and taken off guard. Mehitabel was an experienced member of the Vampire Elite Forces, but she’d been off tonight. A short lace dress and heels wasn’t her usual fighting garb. She didn’t even have any serous weapons with her. Then again, she had the ultimate weapon.

As the Vampire Hunters approached all wide-eyed and in wonder, she spoke to them in a soft voice. “Don’t come closer. You need to turn back. Go home. Have dreams of what you’ve seen tonight. Realize that we are not so different. Not so different at all.”

“Please…” started one of the Vampire Hunters.

“No,” said Mehitabel, “do not come close. Go to the shelter tomorrow and get your own. They need you more than you need to capture or kill me.”

She watched them turn and go away, then kissed the tiny gray and white tabby kitten in her arms. Sometimes the best weapon is no weapon at all.

 

~ end

Tangled Tales

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire Hunters, Parenting, and 2017

This December was a season of parties for us. While at one I ran into Austin Durant. Professor Doctor Durant to some. Austin Durant sometimes Asshole Vampire Hunter to me. OK, he is usually a good guy. He only goes after those nasty soulless types who lurk around like something out of a B horror movie. I’ve helped him out a few times. Sometimes it takes a Vampire to rid a building of Vampires.

He asked what I was up to. I mentioned that my kids talked me into taking a yoga class with them.

Austin looked surprised. “Vampires do yoga?”

I was a little insulted by his response. “I’m not one of those shadow creeping Vampires who crawls around in rafters and under floor boards waiting to drag home prey for their nasty dark lord and master. Think about that next time you want me to crawl under a house for you. Come on Austin, I need to stretch and relax just like everyone else. Everyone normal else. You need to stretch your imagination a little bit Austin.”

2016 brought all sorts of ugly things. I don’t even want to think of it anymore. Luckily I can usually get over stuff. I can put things behind me. When one is my age (157), one must learn to put things behind and let them go, or you might as well crawl under the floor boards.

So what will be above the floor boards in 2017? I don’t know. I started sharing my parenting thoughts, and stories about my kids when the youngest was in seventh grade, and the oldest was in high school. Now the youngest is a senior in high school, and the oldest is in his third year of college. That said, I will always be the mom. I will always be here for my kids. I’ll always be here for my readers seeking thoughts on parenting. I’ve done a pretty good job if I may say so myself.

The kids are getting older and so are the seniors in my life. The ancient Vampires still need help and love, and watching after… just in case, if you know what I mean.

I promise more short stories and tall tales. I’ll keep giving out advice – both solicited and unsolicited. I’ll keep you posted on all of the Vampire activities in my neck of the woods. That also includes Werewolves, Ghosts, and God knows what else (for example Zombies.)

So Austin fills up our wine glasses and asks, “Why do you help me? I’m a Vampire Hunter.”

I smiled, showing just a bit of fang in the room lit only by Christmas lights. “First of all you’re a piss poor Vampire Hunter. Secondly, you only go after nasty husks of Vampires who lack souls or purpose. You only go after those who can’t feel love, or empathy, or joy of any kind. That my friend is why. You do our dirty work for us. You know we don’t want those nasty creatures around anymore than you do.”

Then I downed my glass of wine and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then just for fun I kissed his neck, with just a tiny nip. Austin laughed uncomfortably and said, “I love you too Juliette.”

Happy New Year everyone. My best advice would be to turn off the news, only read fiction, and fight for your right to be who you are.

xoxoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

P.S. Click here for more about Austin Durant who is usually just around for Short Story Sunday. 

 

 

A Story With Demons and Ancient Vampires and Latin and Love

“There is nothing so wonderful as an attractive man in a historic costume.”

Austin thought about it for a minute. He’d wished he could take his entire group of graduate students to see Hamilton when the show came to San Francisco, but it would be a small fortune. Actually, it would be more than a small fortune.

His sister Chelsea had met her husband at the Dicken’s Christmas Faire, in full Victorian dress no less. Their wedding had also been a full Victorian dress event. Now Austin’s bother Dakota was getting married soon in a Wild West theme wedding.

The parents of the three Durant siblings had met at a Renaissance Faire and of course had a Renaissance themed wedding. No wonder Austin was a history professor.

“I’m married. Dak is getting married. When are you and Elizabeth getting serious?”

“Never.”

“I thought you were in love.”

“It is…”

“Don’t tell me it’s complicated. How complicated can it be?”

“She isn’t like most girls?”

“What? She used to be a man? She has a criminal past? She belongs to a cult?”

“No, none of that.” Austin took a deep breath and changed the subject back to Dak’s wedding.

Austin Durant, history professor, contractor specializing in historic buildings, and Vampire hunter, thought about his girlfriend Elizabeth. Sure he loved her, but she scared the Hell out of him.

Then Chelsea asked, “Have you found any Vampires lately?”

Austin almost spit out his coffee. “No. Jeeze, Chelsea, I told you not to talk about that.”

“Every time you work on a building it seems like you find bodies under the floorboards.”

“Not every time. Just most of the time.” Then he kissed his sister on the cheek and told her he’d see her soon.

He had planned on heading home but decided to stop by his girlfriend Elizabeth’s house. Well, he thought she was his girlfriend. For over a year… he didn’t know what to think. It drove him crazy. It pissed him off. It amused him. It terrified him.

The front door was cracked so he let himself. That was odd. He called her name. No answer.

Austin found Elizabeth in her bedroom. He’d found her in her bed, wearing just a tee shirt and underwear. Long, dark, blackish red scratch wounds were on the left side of her face, going down her arm, then across her ribs, and on down to her left thigh.

She lay there cold, not breathing, with no sign of a heart beat.

“Elizabeth. Wake up.”

She cracked her eyes. They were black. No bruised black but black iris, black pupils, no whites. She gave a whispered hiss and showed her fangs.

“What the Hell Liz?”

She let out a small gasp. “Demons. I ran…into…Demons.” Then she closed her eyes and put her right hand over her face.

Austin said her name again but she wouldn’t respond. He could see the edges of the scratches on her arm and face turning black.

Now what? He wasn’t a Vampire. He just knew how to kill them, not how to heal them. If he called 911 or took her to the hospital they’d ask too many questions, and she was already dead. Sort of dead. Shit, he didn’t quite know how exactly to explain it.

He called his lawyer Aaron Todd, who just happened to be a Vampire too. After Austin explained what he found there was a long pause on Aaron’s end.

Then the Vampire said, “Whatever happens don’t let her bite you. I’ll send help. Hold tight.” Then he hung up. No explanations. Typical Vampire.

Austin sat next to Elizabeth as she lay with her fangs showing and black eyes staring at nothing. He half expected Peter Cushing to come out of the closet and offer him a cross and a wooden stake.

“Hey, you must be Austin.”

Austin looked up. A well dressed hispterish looking man stood in the doorway.

The man held out his hand. “I’m Val, Aaron’s brother. He said you needed help.”

Austin took Val’s hand. It was icy cold. Of course Val was a Vampire.

Val put his hand on Elizabeth’s forehead. “Hey, sweetheart. Shhhhhh. It will be alright.” Then he looked at Austin. “The Demons have been bad lately. She must have let her guard down. They’re drawn to distraction.”

“Distraction? Like what?” Austin didn’t understand what Val was getting at.

“Like you.” Then Val smiled, a sweet charming smile, that made Austin’s stomach flip. This guy could kill him and eat him in fifteen seconds, and nobody would ever know. He brushed that thought out of his mind. He heard a car stop in the driveway, then voices and steps coming up the stairs to the bedroom.

Into the room came two teenagers. One had white blonde hair in a man-bun on top of his head. His face was almost as pretty as Elizabeth’s. His blue eyes sparkled, almost like water in the sunshine. He was wearing black tuxedo pants, a blue and purple Hawaiian shirt and yellow flip flops. The girl had long red brown curls and wore an ugly brown plaid skirt and a worn sweater with buttons shaped like cat heads. She was absolutely stunning, with cupid bow lips and large hazel eyes. They both smiled, showing fangs.

“Thank goodness you’re here,” said Val.

“Of course we’re here. Wouldn’t miss it for the World,” said the boy.

“Not for the World,” said the girl.

“We love our Elizabeth,” said the boy.

“Love her,” said the girl.

Then they both looked at Austin and just stared for a moment, then the girl sat next to Austin on the edge of the bed and took his hand in her icy hand, as the boy put his hand on Elizabeth’s face wounds.

The girl started to sing a song and stroked Austin’s hair. Val mouthed the words “Don’t say anything.”

If you’re callin’ ’bout my heart
It’s still yours
I should’ve listened to it a little more
Then it wouldn’t have taken me so long to know where I belong
And by the way, boy, this is no machine you’re talkin’ to
Can’t you tell, this is Austin, and I still love you.

She’d finished then she smiled and kissed his cheek.

The young man with the white blonde hair glanced at Austin. “Val, you didn’t introduce us. I’m going to assume you’re Austin. I am Tellias. The beautiful woman next to you is Eleora. Give us a minute with Val. You stay here with Elizabeth. Whatever you do don’t let her bite you.”

Austin could hear them speaking quietly in the hallway. It took a few seconds but he noticed they were speaking Latin. The two younger Vampires were speaking in an odd accent, an older version. He knew a little Latin, but this was odd, like old texts he’d seen while studying ancient religious documents.

Elizabeth lay as still as death with her eyes closed. Austin held her hand.

The three Vampires came back into the room.

“Can you help her?” Asked Austin.

“I will need your help young man,” said the one called Tellias. “You think I am a boy, perhaps one of your college students just out of high school. I traveled with the Roman Army before Christ as born. I met Eleora during the building of Hadrian’s Wall. We were both already old by then. We’re much older now. So we know things. We also know things about you Austin.”

Eleora sat and took Austin’s hand again. Val stood at the foot of the bed looking too serious for comfort.

“Austin,” said Tellias, “put your hand on Elizabeth’s face over the wounds. Don’t let go of Eleora’s hand. Eleora take my hand with in yours.” Then he reached out and took Val’s hand in his.

Then Tellias said words in a language Austin couldn’t understand. They were odd words in a magical tone that made his blood run cold. He was freezing, his lungs felt heavy, he couldn’t move.

“Don’t be afraid,” whispered Eleora.

“Don’t be afraid, don’t move, don’t fear, for this will pass,” said Tellias.

Then Austin felt as if an electrical fire surged though his body. Then Eleora shuttered, Tellias squeezed his eyes shut, and Val held his hand out as blue smoke came off of his fingers and the room filled with the smell of sulphur.

The black edges of Elizabeth’s wounds turned white, and the darkness of the wounds turned pink and closed, leaving dark pink red lines, rather than open wounds.

“Well, that was fun,” said Eleora.

“I think we should go swimming now,” said Tellias.

“Yes, swimming. Swim, swim, swim, swim,” said Eleora.

“We will be back,” said Tellias.

“We’re going to swim,” said Eleora.

Then they ran down the stairs, clothes flying as they went. Austin could hear a splash in the pool in Elizabeth’s backyard.

“Don’t take those two lightly,” said Val. “They might be old, but…”

“I know, they could kill me in the blink of an eye. That is what you were going to say, isn’t it?”

“No, I was going to say, they might be old, but they still know how to have fun. I have to go. Stay with Elizabeth until she wakes, which shouldn’t be long. She’ll be tired for a few hours. She’ll be shaken up for a few days, but she’ll be fine. You know what they say, Demons happen. But do me a favor and tell her to stay away from them. Please.”

“You know I’d do anything…”

“I know Austin. You’re a good man. Just be careful. Be very careful.”

Val left. Austin listened to the sound of Eleora and Tellias playing in the pool under the stars. Elizabeth opened her golden brown eyes and smiled without fangs.

“Austin, you’re here.”

“Always,” he said. “Get some rest. You need to sleep.”

As she dozed off Austin thought long and hard about Vampires, Demons, and his brother Dakota’s wedding. He didn’t want to be involved with Vampires. It wasn’t his plan. But one day several years ago he’d pulled up the floorboards of an old house and found two dried up Vampires. He killed them without a second thought. Then his attorney showed up and thanked him for taking out what he called soul-less undesirables.  And that is how he became a Vampire Hunter. The Vampires here were an entirely different thing. They were something he couldn’t even start to explain. His head seemed to spin. He had the wedding, his classes, his latest building project, and now Elizabeth. What would he do with Elizabeth? What sort of future could they possibly have?

He heard someone running up the stairs and saw Eleora standing there, wrapped in a towel with her hair dripping around her shoulders.

“You’ve come to the end of your rope,” she said. “Do you know what that means?”

“No. What does it mean, Eleora?”

“It means it is time for a new rope.”  Then she smiled and ran out of the room dropping the towel behind her. Austin heard a splash and the sound of the two Vampires laughing in the pool outside of Elizabeth’s bedroom window.

He knew that she didn’t mean for him to hang himself with it either.

 

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~ End of Part 17 of the Austin and Elizabeth (The Hunter) stories.

 

Click here for the entire series of Austin and Elizabeth Stories.

Click here for more on Demons.

Or here too.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

A Call from College

“Hey mom, here is this guy in my organic chem class.” My college kid Garrett paused. “You might know his dad.”

Of course the way he said that my mind starts racing as I run down the list of every guy I’ve ever been involved with over the past hundred years. “Who is your friend?” I ask oh so innocently.

“He isn’t really a friend. I mean the guy is nice enough. His name is Ryan Yantz. His dad is Robin Yantz. Mom, his dad is THAT Robin Yantz.”

“I see. Has Ryan approached you about it, or done anything suspicious?”

“I don’t think Ryan is involved with any of it. He was showing some pictures of a trip to Costa Rica and I recognized his dad, and it clicked.”

As a parent you want your child to be safe. When you’re a Vampire parent you want your child to be safe from Vampire Hunters. Sooner or later they are going to cross paths, but we all hope it is later. We all hope it is never at all.

Robin Yantz is one of the smartest and most ruthless of traditional Vampire Hunters.

“Garrett, listen to me,” I told my son, trying be calm. “Under no circumstances, no matter how tempting, do you want to get close to Ryan. You don’t need to poke around and make yourself known. You need to keep clear of Ryan. Make sure your friends keep clear of him.”

“I get it mom. We’ve all talked about it. Nobody knows what we are. That includes the Wolves.”

He was speaking of the Werewolves. The Vampires at the college watch out for the small population of their full moon friends. Young Werewolves tend to be sort of lost souls. Unfortunately I worry because young Vampires tend to be overly confident party animals who live to socialize.

“Mom, I’ll be home on Tuesday. Um, don’t tell Dad. He’ll get all worried and bent out of shape.”

Thanksgiving break has started and all of my kids, my niece, my nephew and all of the young or new Vampires in my life will be around. I worry about all of them. Even if they were not Vampires I’d worry about them. Of course I know all of them can take care of themselves, but I’m a mom, so I worry.

When I got off of the phone with Garrett I thought of Robin Yantz. I could picture him, tall and thin, dressed in black with a ridiculous black Indiana Jones style hat and his man-purse full of the tools of his trade. What an asshole.

Robin Yantz had tried to take out more than one of my family members. I was not happy to learn that Garrett is going to school with one of the Yantz spawn.

The thing is, you can’t judge the kids. I know the Yantz kids aren’t involved and don’t have anything to do with their father’s activities. Still, it bothers me, I’m sure more than it bothers my child.

Thanksgiving is almost here. I hope the only surprises will be good ones. I hope the only blood spilled will be that coming from a bottle, and the only nuts will be roasted and spiced and from a tree (and I don’t mean my family tree.)

Have a good weekend everyone. Don’t forget to hug those near and dear, especially your kids and your old people.

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

By the way, your reading list for next week is below:

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sorority-girls

 

 

The Baker Brothers

I rarely reblog anything on Vampire Maman but you have to read this. You MUST read this. Too much creepy Vampire fun. Of course you all know I am not one of THOSE Vampires. Not me. Thank you Matthew Stitt for your fine imagination.

matthewRstitt

The church basement was dark but dry.  Sean walked through the darkness till he dumped over something but it clattered loudly over the floor.

“What the fuck, man!”  Sean’s brother Andrew whispered through clenched teeth.  “Are you trying to bring them down here.”  He added.

“Dude, we’ve been down here three god-damn days.  I’m thirsty and hungry.  I thought you had a plan to get us out.”

“You’re going to have to wait for it, Sean.  My plan is working.”

“What!  Are you kidding me,” Sean replied as he stepped up to Andrew.  “Are you waiting till they leave?  Is that your fucking plan?”

“No, that ain’t my plan, man.  Are you fucking nuts.”

“Then what’s your plan?”

“We wait for an opportunity.”

“Are you serious?  That’s no different the no damn plan.”

“Shh.. I think someone’s coming.”  The Baker brothers listened as the vampire walked above them.  Without the…

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